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The Hitch Hiker

Written by Annie O'Riley ( on July 10, 2012

In 1873, during a time of lace and bustles, a little girl, Maria Fanny Weston was born in London. 41 years later she emigrated to Victoria with her husband, Frederick and their three children. In 1941 when this article appeared, Frederick was a retired accountant and the couple lived at “Bada Coom” in the Avonsleigh/Emerald area (in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria). Maria died eleven years later in 1952 at the age of 79. This article was published in the Cairns Post on the 28th of October, 1941.

“Age No Handicap.

SYDNEY, October 27.- Mrs. Frederick Weston, 68 of Avonsleigh, Victoria, an old age pensioner, has hitch-hiked to Sydney. Mrs. Weston, who is a grandmother, carried a small suitcase on the journey and wore her best black frock.

‘My travelling costs were 8½d. (About $2.50) for a second class rail ticket from Melbourne to Fawkner, an outer suburb,’ she said. ‘I had lifts for the rest of the journey. I only walked about six or seven miles, usually to get to the outskirts of a town. Many motorists thanked me for my company.’

Mrs. Weston has travelled to many parts of Victoria to see her children by this method in the last 10 years. Her longest journey was to Bourke, three years ago.”

A little more information appeared in the Courier-Mail (Brisbane) on the 27th of October 1941.

Mrs. Weston will spend a few days in Sydney. Friends will show her the sights, and then she will be on the Hume Highway again with her little suitcase beginning her return journey. She expects to take about four days to reach Avonsleigh.”

From all reports she made the journey safely and had some wonderful stories to tell her grandchildren.

Written by Annie O'Riley. Annie is the author of and has been researching local history for over 30 years. She is constantly finding new stories and characters to write about.

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